How can I get a theft conviction expunged from my record? 49 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I was a confused kid and now am a responsible professional with three kids and the felony on my record causes extreme difficulty and stress. I believe that any reasonable judge to hear the details of my situation would have to consider it reasonable to expunge my record. I need help in pursuing this.

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Speaking in general terms, there are several significant obstacles to getting offenses expunged in Michigan. Expunging a criminal charge is great way of clearing up past mistakes. However, there are a series of obstacles. First, a person may expunge only one prior conviction and they can only have "no more than 2 minor offenses in addition to the offense for which the person files an application." MCL 780.621(1). Second, certain offenses cannot be expunged. Traffic offenses for example, even something as simple as driving on a suspended license, a lot of high level or capital felonies, and other offenses as listed in the applicable statutes, cannot be expunged. It depends on which offense is currently on the person's record. Additionally, even if a person only had one offense, if they had issues with probation, i.e., probation violations or other infractions while serving their sentence, that may be obstacle as well. There is also a time limitation. Any effort to expunge an offense cannot commence until five years after the date of conviction. Lastly, expunging an offense from a criminal record takes time, requires a lot of paperwork, carries some notable costs, and eventually, applicants need to appear before a judge and convince the judge that they are worthy of having the offense expunged in order to complete the process.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/29/2011
Law Office of Daniel K Martin
Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
1. collect proof that you complied with probation. (Do this by going to probation and asking for their records) Go to the court and get proof that you paid any fines or fees to the Superior Court. 2. Write a motion pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1203.4 and Penal Code Section 17(b). Include with the motion a proposed order for the judge to sign. This motion asks the court to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and to dismiss the case. (If the case is not a wobler, then you do not need the motion pursuant to 17(b) because straight felonies cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor.) Include written proof of compliance with the terms of probation and any written evidence of rehabilitation. Make a total of five copies of the original. (So you will have six total) 3. File the original motion with the court in the county that you were convicted. The court will give you a date that the motion will be heard and the department that the motion will be heard. Ask the clerk to stamp one copy for your records. Write the date, time and department on the remaining copies. Have someone 18 years old or older other than yourself, file a copy of the motion with the Sheriff, Probation department, the District Attorney, and the arresting agency if it was not the same Sheriff's office 4. attend the hearing and the judge will rule. If he grants the motion, he will sign the order. Get a copy of the order and mail it to the California Department of Justice. It is important to understand that if you complied with all of the terms of probation then the judge has to grant the motion. If you violated probation, the judge can grant it but he has the authority to deny it also. A lawyer can help you do this, however if you cannot afford a lawyer you should be able to follow the steps above.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/28/2011
Law Offices of Kate Mesic, PA
Law Offices of Kate Mesic, PA | Kate L. Mesic
If you were actually convicted of any crime (adjudicated guilty), you will not be able to seal or expunge your record. Each case must be evaluated individually. If you had a withhold of adjudication, you may qualify for a sealing if it the offense was not one of the prohibited offenses, listed in the Fla. Stat. 943.059. In order to qualify for an expungement, the charges against you must have been dropped completely, and you have never been adjudicated of any crime.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/28/2011
DeVito & Visconti, PA
DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
In Massachusetts if you have a felony conviction on your record you have the right to seal that record 15 years from the day your probation or parole terminated. As of May 2012 you can seal that conviction in 10 years. Sealing the record allows you to state to any employer that you have no record. The conviction will not appear on any record search. There is one difficulty. Most police departments send fingerprints of all arrestees to the FBI. The FBI keeps a database of all arrests with your name and the crime. That is very difficult to seal. If an employer does a national search the felony may appear on that search. You then have to provide documentation to your employer that the matter was sealed.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 11/21/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
There is no expungement law in Alabama. There has been in the past an expungement bill pending in the Legislature but it is yet to pass. I suggest that you first apply to have your civil rights reinstated you start the process at the State Office of Probation & Paroles. It is my understanding that if an expungement law were to be enacted, which could expunge a felony conviction, it would require that your civil rights be reinstated first.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 11/18/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    You can only expunge cases that were dismissed or resulted in a not guilty verdict after a trial.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/18/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    Generally, the record will be expunged after a specific period of time, whether a felony or a misdemeanor. Generally, misdemeanors can be expunged after three years, except for DV and DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Google California Penal Code and look at 1203.4. Most clerks have forms for this relief. However you are probably laboring under the same delusion as most people. Expungment does not mean theytake a magic marker and cross out your name.Since most employers now require that you sign a waiver letting them see your rap sheetthey will quickly find that you did have a felony conviction. Unfortunately there is no way to remove this from your record in any meaningful way.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Go to the court where you were convicted. Ask at the clerk's office what you need to do, and they will show you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Depends on whether you went to prison. If not, you can reduce the felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code Section 17b and then get an order of dismissal (expungement) pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4. If you went to prison (or if it was an Execution of Sentence Suspended sentence) then you need to file for a certificate of rehabilitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You are not eligible for an expungment in Nebraska. You need to seek a pardon from the Governor.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Possibly, It depends on several factors, one is the conviction at least 5 years old? The second is do you have any other convictions (For anything including misdemeanors)? Third waht have you been doing in the meantime? You want to sit down and talk to an attorney. In some cases the answer is yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You need to consult with an attorney who is experienced in expungements. You need to prepare the Petition and Order properly and file it with the court you received the conviction in.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    From your post, I believe you think that you can have the record wiped clean. That cannot be done. If you qualify [did not go to prison], you may file a request with the court where you were convicted to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and then allow a not guilty plea and dismiss the case. This does not erase the arrest or conviction. It allows you to tel a prospective employer that you were never convicted, unless the potential employer is the government. You also have to disclose the conviction to any licensing authority. However, this is usually the first step in obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation and then, hopefully a pardon.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    If you have no other criminal convictions.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Unfortunately, the only cases of this type that can be expunged or sealed are juvenile matters and adult cases that resulted in deferred judgments.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    You need to draft, serve and file a Petition to Expunge and Seal Records. If you choose to try doing this on your own, the Court Administrator of the County in which the conviction occurred may have forms available for your use. Assuming that you get the Petition filed properly, the Court Administrator will set a hearing date. On that date the Court will hear your arguments as well as those of the attorney(s) lined up to contest your Petition. If the Court believes that the benefit to you outweighs the detriment to society in allowing your request, the Court will sign an Order expunging your conviction record and sealing the file. As a practical matter, it is much easier for you to accomplish these steps with the assistance of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    In Colorado the only criminal records that can be sealed under current law are cases that have been completely dismissed (like after a deferred sentence is successfully completed) or drug offenses after certain time periods. Unless your case was completely dismissed, your only option is a governor's pardon which are rarely granted.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Get used to having a record. Georgia law does not provide for expungement of a criminal record after the person has been found guilty or has pled guilty to an offense.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If more than five years have passed since conviction, you could file a motion with the court asking the court to expunge the conviction. The motion would have to comply with the applicable statute and court rules.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    If you were convicted, you do not qualify for expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    Maybe you can have the record sealed if it was in juvenile court. Or you might be eligible for some relief if you plead under the First Offender Act. Also, maybe you could apply for a pardon. You need to talk about the specifics of your case with a defense lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    As long as you have nothing else on your record and if it has been at least five years, you should be able to get it expunged. At least you would be eligible. You should strongly consider retaining an attorney with experience in expungements to represent you. Contact our office for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    No, you cannot get any record of any criminal conviction expunged in the Commonwealth unless you can prove that you were wrongfully convicted and as a consequence have received a pardon from the governor.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Class C felonies may be expunged five years after completion of all conditions of sentence imposed. It is 10 years for Class B felonies.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Whether the judge is reasonable doesn't really matter. Current case law and statutes only allow for expungements in limited situations, depending on how the case was sentenced, or depending on several other factors, such as steps taken toward rehabilitation, age of the offense, losses suffered due to the charge, etc. But even if those things can be shown, in many situations only court records are sealed, not executive branch records, which usually are what causes a person issues. Contact an attorney to file a petition for you and argue the request.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    There are newer ways to expunge in Michigan if the offense occurred while under 21.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If the conviction arose in Illinois, and indeed was a conviction not 710 or 1410 probation, which is available to first time drug possession in certain cases, you will not be able to have this conviction expunged. Your only remedy is to file a petition for a governor's pardon which is extremely difficult to obtain. You might be able to get the conviction sealed whereby employers and insurance companies cannot see it on your record. You should see the Clerk of the Court in the county where the conviction occurred. They will tell you if you qualify for a seal of the record and provide instructions and forms with which to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    In Arizona you cannot have a conviction "expunged" unless you went through the juvenile court system. It can however be "set aside". The result of this would be that when someone does a background search on you it would show that it was "dismissed". You need to apply for this to the same Court that convicted you.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Office of David Baum
    Law Office of David Baum | David M. Baum
    A petition should be filed with the court requesting expungement of your conviction. A skilled attorney will include specific facts regarding your situation to increase the likelihood of the court granting the petition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    You need to file a motion with the court to vacate the conviction if enough time has passed since you completed your sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    If it was a Juvenile Conviction or only a Summary Offense, then hire a lawyer to expunge it.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It may be possible to get the theft expunged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC | Louis Leibowitz
    You need to find out if there was a Motion to Reconsider filed in your case at the time. If so, there is a pretty good chance you can get the conviction turned into a probation before judgment. If not, you have a real uphill battle, if it can be done at all.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law | Thomas Humphrey
    If you were a juvenile when you committed the crime you can have the record expunged. If you were a young adult, you will not be able to get the record expunged. However, depending on much time has passed since the conviction, the type of crime and the circumstances under which it was committed, you might be able to have the record of the crime sealed by the court under the court administrative rules. This is something that you would want an attorney to help you with but the cost should not be too expensive as it is a straight forward procedure for an attorney who is familiar with this area of law.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
    You should call for possible relief.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    Yes, you may get a record expunged for certain non-violent felonies as of July 1, 2011 under Wyoming Statute, Sec. 7-13-1502. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can help you with this matter. 10 years must have passed since you completed probation, parole, or prison sentence without a new charge. You must pay a $300 filing fee. You must be convicted of an offense not specifically excluded. There may not be outstanding restitution, and other requirements you may look up under the statute. If that does not apply, you must petition the Governor for a pardon. This has separate requirements.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Only through a governor's pardon. Convictions are otherwise on there for life.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    It sounds like you may be eligible for expungement; provided that more than 5 years have passed since you were released from probation on this matter, AND you have had no subsequent violations of the law in any court, in any state. You may want to consult with an attorney in your state.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    New York does not have an expungement statute. Once you have a conviction it will last forever unless it is challenged with a 440.10 motion to vacate the conviction n the grounds that it was illegal, improper, or that there is new evidence of innocence. New York believes that employers and schools should know the criminal history of people before they deal with them. You may be able to get a Certificate of Relief From Disabilities to get certain jobs if you ask the attorney who handled the case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Zwiebel
    You can apply for a pardon. You will need to hire an attorney to guide you through the process.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    California doesn't have a true "expungement" statute, but assuming you didn't get sentenced to state prison, you should be able to get your case dismissed. Even better - it can potentially be reduced to a misdemeanor and then dismissed. A local criminal defense attorney can assist with the appropriate motion and appear in court on your behalf for a reasonable fee. It's not a complex matter, but one you want done right.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You can file a 1203.4.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need to attorney to first file a 17b motion to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor. Once granted, the lawyer can then proceed to expunge the misdemeanor. Contact an attorney about eligibility.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Rizio & Nelson
    Rizio & Nelson | John W. Bussman
    If you successfully completed probation without any violations / reinstatements, you're probably entitled to an expungement (called a 1203.4 petition in California). If you were ever sentenced to state prison, however, you can't get that expunged. It's a pretty simple process that any lawyer can help you with. If, as I said, you successfully completed probation without any problems, there's no argument involved. You lawyer fills out a couple pages of paperwork and a judge stamps it. Keep in mind that an expungement does not completely hide the fact that it ever happened. If granted, it will change the record to show that the case was dismissed after you completed serving all your penalties.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2011
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